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|(1) CSA do not run a benefits helpline, it answers calls on live cases or general inquiries on child support. If a caller has a case with an open task the call is routed to a caseworker, if not, or it is a general inquiry then the call goes to our dedicated contact centre network. The figures shown are for the dedicated contact centres only and throughout this period in addition to these staff there were more than 2,000 caseworkers also available to take calls on any of the days in question.|
(2 )Debt Management do not operate benefit helplines. They provide service for customers to contact to discuss the repayment of overpayments of benefit or certain Social Fund loans.
(3 )Three Scottish Jobcentre Plus contact centres were operational on the 27 December and to deal with Scottish calls only. On 2 January the same three contact centres were closed with their English business diverted to contact centres open in England. Pension figure is for centres in Scotland only.
(4 )Figures are for staff working for Private Sector Partners who field calls on behalf of the Pension Service and National Benefit Fraud Hotline.
All DWP helplines were closed on Christmas day and Boxing day.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on what occasions (a) he and (b) departmental Ministers have been requested to appear before committees of (i) devolved institutions and (ii) the European Parliament since 2004; on what topic in each case; how many and what proportion of such requests were accepted; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. McGuire: Since 2004, there have been no requests for a DWP Secretary of State or DWP Minister to appear before a committee of the European Parliament, but there have been two occasions when they have attended an EPC.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Mr. Blunkett), the then Secretary of State, and the Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, my hon. Friend the Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Plaskitt) appeared before the European Parliament Employment and Social Affairs Committee on 11 July 2005, to give a presentation on the UK Presidency programme.
My hon. Friend, the Under-Secretary of State appeared before the European Parliament Employment and Social Affairs Committee on 22 November 2005, to discuss the EPSCO December Council and the UK Presidential achievements.
Mr. Newmark: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department spent on buying, operating and supporting (a) all commercial software products and (b) software products produced by Microsoft in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the public information advertising campaigns his Department has run in 2006-07; and how much his Department has spent on (a) press and (b) television advertising in each campaign. 
Mrs. McGuire: A table listing all public information advertising campaigns run by the Department for Work and Pensions in 2006-07 is shown as follows. Figures are included for the spend to date on press and television advertising where applicable.
1. The tables do not include the following as the information is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate cost:
spend by non-departmental bodies for which the Department is responsible
details of highly localised publicity activity by the Departments customer-facing businesses
recruitment or procurement advertising
2. The figures in these tables refer to media spend only, excluding production, direct mail, public relations and other costs.
3. All figures have been rounded to the nearest thousand.
4. All figures are quoted net of VAT.
5. Press includes national press, regional press, specialist press, advertorials and featurelink, to provide costs for newspaper only advertising would incur disproportionate cost.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of expenditure by his Department in each of the Government Office regions in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Disability Equality Duty, which came into force on 4 December, requires by law that public-sector bodies, including all Government Departments, executive agencies and Ministers, promote equality for disabled people. All Government Departments and agencies were required to produce a Disability Equality Scheme setting out how they will achieve this by December 2006.
The DWP published its DES on 1 December while its four businessesthe Child Support Agency, Jobcentre Plus, the Disability and Carers Service and the Pension Servicehave published their own schemes. We worked closely with disabled customers, representative groups and leading disabled charities in developing these schemes and will continue to consult them as we review and improve the schemes over time.
providing a variety of alternative formats, including Braille, large print, audiocassette, British Sign Language (BSL) tape and Easy Read guide where appropriate, ensuring that alternative formats are available at the same time as English and Welsh versions;
ensuring that customers can still access our information when their chosen alternative format is not available. For example, as part of the consultation on the Welfare Reform Green Paper, we worked closely with charities to organise briefings for groups of disabled people on the key proposals. We adopted the same approach when seeking the views of disabled people on the Child Support White Paper.
Mr. Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on what dates Ministers in his Department and its predecessors made official visits to the London boroughs of (a) Tower Hamlets, (b) Newham and (c) Waltham Forest in each year since 1997. 
Information on ministerial visits within the UK is not collected centrally. It is likely that the information requested, about visits undertaken since 1997, will be available only at disproportionate cost.
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